Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $44,660 in federal funding for Rockland Paramedic Services Inc. This funding is being allocated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Funding will be used by Rockland Paramedic Services to acquire much-needed patient monitoring equipment.
“This is a great investment for Rockland County,” Senator Gillibrand said. “It is critical that our firefighters and first responders have the tools and resources they need to keep our community safe. Carbon monoxide monitoring equipment will help save lives and ensure our first responders have the information they need to effectively respond to emergencies.”
“I want to thank Senator Gillibrand for her involvement in getting us this grant, said Raymond Florida, Executive Director of Rockland Paramedic Services. “The carbon monoxide monitoring equipment will be used in the field to monitor firefighters on the scene and to test local residents at incidents when carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected. These are truly life saving devices because they allow us to immediately diagnose firefighters and residents in order to transfer them for the most appropriate treatment.”
In a letter from August of last year to FEMA Administrator W. Craig Fugate, Senator Gillibrand expressed her support for Rockland Paramedic Services Inc.’s grant application. Rockland Paramedic Services is a nonprofit, advanced life support service operating in Rockland County.
These funds, provided through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program of DHS and FEMA, will allow Rockland Paramedic Services Inc. to purchase several pulse oximeters. This equipment will allow paramedics to check blood oxygen levels of patients, allowing them to infer carbon monoxide poisoning or other pulmonary or cardiac issues. This diagnostic capability is crucial when dealing with firefighter rehabilitation procedures following fires where carbon monoxide may have been present. This new equipment will help save lives by allowing for better diagnosis of medical complications.
The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, established by DHS and FEMA, is part of an effort to increase the nation’s emergency response preparation. This program provides federal funding to first responder organizations for the acquisition of personal protective equipment, firefighting vehicles, and emergency response equipment. The funds will also help provide emergency response training to firefighters.